[$] Trading Off Safety and Performance in the Kernel


The kernel community ordinarily tries to avoid letting users get into a position where the integrity of their data might be compromised. There are exceptions, though; consider, for example, the ability to explicitly flush important data to disk (or more importantly, to avoid flushing at any given time). Buffering I/O in this manner can significantly improve disk write I/O throughput, but if application developers are careless, the result can be data loss should the system go down at an inopportune time. Recently there have been a couple of proposed performance-oriented changes that have tested the community’s willingness to let users put themselves into danger. <p> Click below (subscribers only) for the full story from this week’s Kernel Page.

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